WASHINGTON (AP) _ Mexico advanced in Women’s World Cup qualifying Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Jamaica, setting up a semifinal match against the United States in similar circumstances to four years ago – when the Americans suffered one of the most stunning losses in program history.
Sandra Stephany Mayor scored in the first half, and Veronica Charlyn Corral netted twice in the second half to wrap up group play in the CONCACAF championship.
Mexico joins the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica in the semifinals to be played Friday at the Philadelphia Union’s stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. The top three teams will qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Canada, while the fourth-place finisher will face Ecuador in a playoff.
During qualifying for the 2011 World Cup, the U.S. lost to Mexico in the semifinals and was forced into the third-place match and then a home-and-home playoff against Italy _ a roundabout path to the sport’s biggest event for one of the world’s top teams. It stands as the only defeat for the Americans in 26 World Cup qualifying matches.
The rematch won’t quite have the same magnitude. The region will send at least one extra team to the World Cup because Canada qualified automatically as the host nation and because the World Cup field has expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
The Mexicans, needing at least a draw against Jamaica to advance, finished second in Group B with a 2-1 record. They are seeking their third World Cup berth, having qualified in 1999 and 2011.
Jamaica needed a win to advance, and it took an early lead with one of the best goals of the tournament, a powerful shot from the right side of the box by Donna-Kay Henry that tucked under the crossbar and inside the far post.
Jamaica finished 1-2 in group play.